In 2017, mobile apps accounted for nearly half of all internet traffic, and this number is expected to grow rapidly YOY. By 2020, mobile in-app in revenue is forecasted to generate over $189 billion worldwide. As mobile investment increases we need to ask ourselves: 1) How can our clients ensure their advertisements are seen within these apps and 2) How do we as an agency ensure we are getting better transparency and scale?
Introducing the Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK)
On April 10, 2018, the IAB Tech Lab released their highly anticipated Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK). Before we go into more detail on this, it’s important to first understand what an SDK is.
- A software development kit, or SDK, is a set of code added to applications allowing developers to create and customize an application. Some SDKs are used to create functions, like push notifications, while others allow the app to work with specific operating systems such as IOS/Apple.
- To put it in more relatable terms, when you don’t feel like making a cake from scratch, you can buy a premade cake mix. A cake mix requires you to add one or two additional ingredients, bake, and serve. Then, you can customize by adding toppings that best suit the occasion- like a birthday. Think of an SDK as a cake mix.
Historically, viewability measurement with mobile in-app has been dependent on the developers’ ability to integrate a variety of different vendor SDKs. Frustrations over measurement instability, maintenance issues, cost, and negative user experience were the catalysts for a new uniform standard -- the Open Measurement SDK. The single OM SDK design allows all measurement partners to pick up viewability signals from one single location on iOS and Android devices across display, native and video, thus removing the need for app developers and publishers to implement multiple ad verification SDK’s.
Using the cake analogy from earlier, instead of making a box cake, this time you go to the store and buy the cake that already meets your exact requirements, made using the same ingredients as all the other cakes.
It’s also worth noting that while Mobile in-app measurement can utilize MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions) to determine viewability, MRAID does not measure native or video ads and only produces a binary signal to show whether an ad is in view.
OM SDK Key Benefits:
- Reduction in reporting inconsistencies for publishers and advertisers
- Increased See-Through-Rate: bundle ID/app ID will be available on all impressions where OM SDK is running, which will in turn allow our partners to provide more insight within reporting.
- Greater video measurement via all versions of the Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST).
How can Clients Benefit?
The way vendors interact with mobile applications will affect the entire ecosystem — publishers, media agencies, technology companies, advertisers, and trade organizations.
Our clients will now be able to have more insight and transparency into where their ads are viewed and how users interacted with their ads. Additionally, the OM SDK opens up more inventory options within in-app environments.
As we begin to purchase more and more in-app inventory, we will need to lean on publishers to adopt this new technology. However, we do not see this as an obstacle. Publisher adoption should increase steadily over the next year as the OM SDK benefits publishers as much as it does advertisers and measurement partners.